Necessity is the mother of invention, but ingenuity is the daddy. Sometimes little triumphs can give you a lot of pleasure.
The KVC exercise yard and front lawn have become infested with grass burs (also known as field sandburs). Patients are picking them up for me, but they don't like it, and neither do I. Spending twenty minutes picking the burs out of a fuzzy dog is no fun for the dog or anybody else involved.
You can find lots of advice on eradicating the plants, using fertilizers, lawn builders and pre-emergent herbicides. Okay, fine. What about the gazillion burs that are already all over my property? The pre-emergent herbicide is supposed to keep them from germinating next year and multiplying the problem. Even if I believe that, how am I going to keep my patients from getting covered with the ones that are all over right now?
Some years ago when I had the problem, I sewed an old worn-out blanket into a tube, put a piece of PVC pipe through the middle to weigh it down, and dragged it across the yard. It worked pretty well then, but it was a bust this time. I used two blankets, picked up a lot of burs, but you can't tell the difference.
For a moment I had the unworthy thought of borrowing a bunch of fluffy dogs and chasing them around the yard. Then I thought of buying fluffy slippers for the staff, but they would fill up with burs so fast that you wouldn't get much done.
Then I had the idea of the week: disposable fluffy slippers. We got some fuzzy fabric remnants and I cut them into shoe-sole size pieces. Attached front and back with a little duct-tape, and I went for a test run while taking the boarding dogs for their evening walkies out back. The dogs got a much longer walk than they might have otherwise, because it didn't take long to get excited about my new hobby.
Oh, my gosh, does it work! You just walk around, or stomp those burs if it makes you feel better (and it does). When the fuzzy gets full, you just tape on another set. The burs stick to the cloth so well that you don't spread them to other areas. It's like a Swiffer for grass burs.
The downside: it's kind of addictive. I went through about six sets and had to make myself quit. I finally have a weapon that works, and it is so satisfying. There are lots of burs left, little islands to conquer, but their days are numbered.